Arrogant. Disrespectful. Unnecessary. That’s how I felt when France scored its fourth goal of the first half and Griezmann celebrated like he’d created World Peace.
I love soccer and I appreciate the degree of difficulty most of the goals reach, but the celebrations are tough to watch for the sheer embarrassment.
In defending the “boringness” of soccer to my friends, part of the argument is usually that the hardest things to do with a soccer ball are harder than the hardest things to do in other sports. If I did half of some of the things these guys do to score, I’d be pretty happy too.
But if I played for Iceland for example, I’d be marking the next time I played France on the calendar for sure.
France has a respectable list of championship history, and most of it is fairly recent. From 1998-2006 they’ve won a World Cup, a European Championship, two Confederation Cups, and lost in a World Cup Final. To be fair, in both Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010, France did have its worst performances in history with first round departures. But it rebounded in Euro 2012 and again in World Cup 2014, reaching the quarter finals of each tournament and restoring itself as a soccer power. They’ve now also advanced to the Euro 2016 Final.
Yet in Sunday’s quarterfinal, France exploded for four first half goals and you’d think they’d just won the whole Championship on a golden goal. Like they’d never been there before.
I can handle the first two scores (and maybe even the third) being rejoiced. It’s an exciting time. It’s a big game. There’s a lot of uncertainty about whether Iceland can keep its historic run going. And it’s rare to have that many goals so quickly which makes it a lot of fun. I get it. But when you score the fourth goal of the game in the 45th minute, don’t do all this:
Video: Abhinav Mouli
Sure it was a nice chip. Maybe I’m blowing this way out of proportion. But you’re France and you’re up 4-0.
Compare this to Germany beating Brazil 7-1 in 2014. That was in the World Cup. It was a semi-final. It was in Brazil. Watch this video and listen to the history heading in.
Video: Robin Son
Goal 1 was a quick sprint celebration, some arm raises, and a few high fives. Goal 2, which gave Germany an early 2-0 lead in a semi-final and made Miroslav Klose the ALL-TIME LEADING GOAL SCORER IN WORLD CUP HISTORY, was celebrated with a short two-knee slide. Then they just went back to business. Goal three brought on nothing more than a slow trot and a smile. It went on and on. Incredible finishes. World class passing. One of the greatest team performances ever. A minor jump and lots of hugs and smiles, but all in a group. No flaunting. No individuals putting themselves above the team with tacky gimmick “look at me” crap.
Hopefully the focus in the Euro 2016 Finals will be on the plays leading into the goals and not the nonsense that follows. With the opponent being Portugal, I have my doubts.